Cognitive training using self-discovery methods

Joan W. Anderson, Alan A. Hartley, Rhonda Bye, Kent D. Harber, Ophelia L. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Improvements in problem solving performance have been achieved when appropriate strategies are explained, demonstrated, or modeled for older adults. The present study attempted cognitive training of Raven”s Progressive Matrices using guided self-discovery, but without directly providing strategies. Thirty-six older and 36 younger adults were pretested, underwent training, and were posttested. There were three training conditions: (1) participants were prompted by questioning to attend to all components of the matrix elements, (2) attentional training was augmented by questioning that prompted the participant to discover the correct solution, and (3) a practice-only control. There was significant improvement from pretest to posttest, but it was the same for all three groups, and there was no significant difference in improvement between younger and older adults. The study failed to find evidence for successful cognitive training when strategies must be self-discovered rather than simply adopted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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